Federal jury finds Michigan man guilty of enslaving 4 African children in his Ypsilanti home
Jean-Claude Toviave guilty of forced labor, faces up to 20 years in prison at sentencing
A federal jury has convicted a Washtenaw County man on charges he enslaved and abused four West African children in his home for several years.
The jury deliberated for less than a day in Detroit's U.S. District Court before finding Ypsilanti resident Jean-Claude Toviave guilty Tuesday on four counts of forced labor. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he's sentenced Feb. 6.
Victims testified that Toviave beat them with broomsticks, a toilet plunger and other objects when they failed to obey him. They also allege he deprived them of food and sleep.
Federal authorities say the Togo native brought the victims into the U.S. with fake documents by pretending they were his own children.
Toviave pleaded guilty in February to harboring aliens and other charges.
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